If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media lately, you’ve surely heard of “Dry January.” Like clockwork, the wellness experiment resurfaces in news and pop culture every New Year. But why are so many people choosing to cut out booze for the first month of the year?
Dry January, AKA Sober January, is basically what it says on the tin: Participants abstain from any and all alcoholic beverages from January 1–31. The average weekly number of drinks for U.S. adults is 3.6, so an entire month of no booze is not insignificant.
Importantly, Dry January is not designed to help people who are suffering from alcoholism. It’s typically approached as a finite willpower exercise, with many participants — this writer included! — using this period as a moment to reflect on their relationship to alcohol and prioritize their wholistic wellbeing. (“New year, new you,” right?) Sometimes, it’s employed by people who are “sober curious,” or thinking about cutting out alcohol altogether.
The negative health effects of regular alcohol consumption are well-documented, so it’s easy to see why Dry January appeals to so many of us. All things considered, one month is a pretty short amount of time. Abstaining from alcohol for that duration is attainable for most of us — not to mention good for our bodies, our sleep patterns, our mental health, and our wallets. And besides, there are plenty of delicious, ready-to-buy mocktails on the market these days.
Are you also embarking on a Dry January journey this year? It can be difficult to stay motivated, but trust me, you are not alone. In fact, a number of high-profile celebrities have spoken publicly about experimenting with sobriety for a month. For some of them, Dry January even catalyzed a longer-term sobriety journey.
Below, read up on quotes from Valerie Bertinelli, Bella Hadid, Kelly Ripa, and other celebs who’ve sworn off alcohol for the month of January, either this year or in the past.